I pray for my children’s future spouses. I pray they are being prepared just as I am trying to prepare my kids. I pray specifically for qualities that I believe will complement each of my children. Most of all I pray for a common foundation that will last through the storms of life. But I also worry. Their legacy is not stellar. Nor was mine in terms of marriage. I would love for them to be the generation that breaks the cycle, that holds it together, and I know the odds, especially in Orange County are not with them, BUT I also know that I do not believe in a God that is concerned with odds.
I have been in 1 Kings in my bible reading and I was struck by some of the details described in the construction of the Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem. In 1 Kings 6:7 it says, “In building the temple, only blocks dressed at the quarry were used, and no hammer, chisel or any other iron tool was heard at the temple site while it was being built.” As I thought, it seemed wild to me to build an entire temple without the things that hold it together. However, those things are forceful. A hammer forces a nail into a block and that nail forces those blocks to stay together. So without the forceful pieces and tools, the stones would have to be perfectly, gently and divinely placed in order to stay together as a structure and endure the elements that would ultimately come.
And then in 1 Kings 7:9 it says, “All these structures, from the outside to the great courtyard and from foundation to eves, were made of blocks of high-grade stone cut to size and smoothed on their inner and outer faces.” The stones were prepared before they were placed. They were smoothed and molded, and shaped before they were placed together with the other stones. Everything fit together perfectly because master construction was done to ensure it, no hammers or nails forced things together. And I would guess stones were moved to different locations to ensure a closer, stronger fit. And then, do you know what happened when the temple was finished? In 1 Kings 8:11b it tells us, “…for the glorious presence of the LORD filled the Temple of the Lord.” When something fits together, when it has been shaped and placed, maybe moved for a better fit, God’s presence is in the midst filling up the space between.
We face pressure on all sides. I remember as a mid-20s young adult feeling pressure to marry like everyone else around me. I think our society provides an expectation that causes us to TRY to make things work. And depending on our outlook, we may even force things to work, we may push to have a relationship fit together, we may put pressure on a relationship to move forward before it’s time. And when we engage in that behavior, we lose sight of God and he blurs to the side of our minds eye instead of remaining front and center.
This has adjusted the way I pray for my children’s future spouses. I do, for sure, still pray for their spouses, but I pray for a preparation, for a heart that is set apart and not concerned with societal pressures, for an understanding that God is the ultimate master craftsman. There is no soulmate, but there is someone who matches, who compliments, who fits next to each of my children. I pray that as they ebb and flow through life, he is smoothing out their edges and working on their hearts and souls. I pray he is preparing them for the ultimate coupling with another stone who has also been smoothed by God. I pray those stones get put together not with force, but with gentle placement and careful thought. I pray they are put together with purposeful intention, communication, caring, and prayer. Truthfully, I pray that for myself as well.
And I pray that what God puts together will reflect His presence.
By His Grace